Emotional Intelligence – A Prerequisite for Leadership

Emotional intelligence is generally considered the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is prominently the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem-solving in a situation and at the same time the ability to manage emotions of self and others in that particular situation. Unlike IQ, the skills of emotional intelligence can be learned at any age but it’s not easy as growing your emotional intelligence takes practice and commitment.

Improving your emotional intelligence is similar to altering your habits. Brain circuits that carry certain habits have to unlearn the old ones and replace them with the new. As the behavioral sequence is repeated more and more, the underlying brain circuits become stronger and at some point, the new neural pathways become the brain’s default option.

Emotional intelligence consists of four fundamental capabilities: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social skills. Each capability, in turn, is composed of specific sets of competencies. Below is a list of the capabilities and their corresponding traits.

Self-Awareness –

  • Emotional self-awareness: the ability to read and understand your emotions as well as recognize their effect and level of impact on work performance, relationships, and the environment.

  • Accurate self-assessment: a realistic evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses so as to be in sync with them.

  • Self-confidence: a strong and positive sense of self-worth which assists in overriding a series of other negative emotions like fear and doubt.


Self-Management –

  • Self-control: the ability to keep disruptive emotions and impulses under control especially in abnormal situations.

  • Trustworthiness: a consistent display of honesty and integrity throughout good and bad times.

  • Conscientiousness: the ability to manage yourself and your responsibilities irrespective of the situation on hand.

  • Initiative: a readiness to seize opportunities and derive the most out of them.

  • Adaptability: skill at adjusting to changing situations and overcoming obstacles.

  • Achievement orientation: the drive to meet an internal standard of excellence and keep raising the bar.


Social Awareness –

  • Empathy: skill at sensing other people’s emotions, understanding their perspective, and taking an active interest in their concerns.

  • Organizational awareness: the ability to read the currents of organizational life, build decision networks, and navigate emotions to derive results in the organization.

  • Service orientation: the ability to recognize and meet customers’ needs and service them to the best way possible.


Social Skill –

  • Visionary leadership: the ability to take charge and inspire the team with a compelling vision.

  • Influence: the ability to wield a range of persuasive tactics for binding the team together and driving them.

  • Developing others: the propensity to bolster the abilities of others through feedback and guidance.

  • Communication: skill at listening and at sending clear, convincing, and well-tuned messages steering clear of any confusion.

  • Change catalyst: proficiency in initiating new ideas and leading people in a new direction.

  • Conflict management: the ability to de-escalate disagreements and orchestrate resolutions out of negative situations.

  • Building bonds: proficiency at cultivating and maintaining a web of relationships and converting them into the symbiotic network.

  • Teamwork and collaboration: competence at promoting cooperation and building teams for driving better results.


True leaders possess the right amount of emotional intelligence as changing business dynamics requires them to handle and come out of challenging situations in quick time and at the same time are looked upon for developing the emotional intelligence of the workforce as well.